Kristin’s Thanksgiving Thriving Guide

Tomorrow is officially Thanksgiving in the US.  For me, Thanksgiving is the most difficult holiday.  It is a holiday about food surrounded by a lot of people and a lot of food and weight talk that has been really triggering in the past.  This year, however, I am going to make Thanksgiving a different, better experience for myself.  Here’s how:

Thanksgiving Thriving Guide

1. If I need a break, take one.  I can walk into a different room, go to my room, etc. and take a few moments to collect myself and go back to the party.  It is okay to take a break if I need one.

2. Food and weight talk does not have to trigger me.  When other people express feelings of fatness or fullness, it does not have to trigger me.  It is their feeling and has nothing to do with me.  What is going on in my body?  How do I stay present for myself?

3. Remember to be a mindful/intuitive eater.  The many plates of food available on a holiday can be overwhelming.  Remember to check-in with my body to see what it wants and needs.  Also checking-in throughout the meal to see if I am full or not.

4. Have a plan.  Be prepared for the things that I know will be stressful.  For instance, have a plan for what food items I know I can eat/are “safe” in case I am emotional before dinner and cannot choose.

5. Reframe! Reframe! Reframe!  Remember to reframe all the negative thoughts and negative thinking into neutral or positive thoughts.  Instead of letting myself think I am fat for eating or being full after dinner, thinking of all the reasons that that is not true such as one meal will not make a person fat, I am not fat, I am not an accurate measure of my body weight, this too shall pass, etc.

6. Use gratitude. There is so much for me to be thankful for right now including my family, my recovery, my kitty, football, and so much that I could not even list all the things here.  In the moments where I find myself stressed or feeling down, I need to remember all those things that I am grateful for because there is a lot.

7. Wear what is comfortable.  Although your mother may want you to still dress up after all these years, wear what is comfortable.  Be comfortable.

8. Be kind to myself.  If I make a mistake, something unexpected happens, I get overwhelmed, etc., there is always kindness and self-compassion.  I need to remember that mistakes happen, things happen, and to be kind and gentle towards myself regardless.

What is on your Thanksgiving Thriving Guide?  What about your Holiday Thriving Guide?  What helps you overcome your triggers and stresses during the holidays?

An eating disorder stole so much from me.  Holidays, birthdays, and events that I will never get back.  This holiday season will not be one of them.  More to come!

Stay strong Recovery Warriors! ❤

The Incredible Journey of Recovery

I am feeling at this moment so grateful for my recovery and so in awe of the journey.  It was only two years ago that I truly began to pour myself into my recovery.  I started to make healthier decisions.  I found a complete treatment team and worked hard during appointments.  And, when it came to needing to go to treatment for a second time, I went with determination.  I went with only recovery on my mind and with a mantra of “manage my resistance” to help keep me on track.

In the last year especially my journey in recovery has been incredible.  So much has changed and evolved.  I made the conscious decision to continue on the path of recovery over and over and over again and stuck with it through some difficult times.  I overcame some huge obstacles and have come further than ever in dealing with my biggest issues that contributed to me being so sick with my eating disorder.  I have felt more hope than despair, more life than lifelessness than at any other time in my life.  Though it has been hard, sad, and sometimes painful, it has also been beautiful and hopeful.  Beautiful and hopeful because I can see and experience life and hope like never before and I know I will reach a day where I will not be in recovery, but be recovered.

There is always hope.  Recovery is possible. ❤

It May Be Rough, But I Can Do This.

I wish I had some more positive things to write on, but I feel as though it would be less authentic.  I am still in a rough patch though right now it is different than when I last wrote.  At the moment, it is less about the body image, which has in fact improved to a degree since I last wrote, and more about my ongoing body’s issues/recovery post-eating disorder, my struggles with mental illness and other personal issues, the season that is very quickly coming upon us, and a general dissatisfaction with certain things in my life, which I am working so hard to change.  All these things separately may not be so difficult, but together, they are overwhelming and a burden and make me feel so terribly isolated.

In order to deal with these issues, I have been reaching out as much as I can to my friends, my team, and general support system.  I have been undertaking a lot of self-care, which for me has including going to sporting events last weekend, taking lots of naps (with Sweetie, of course) when needed, taking breaks when I have needed them, and taking basic care of myself (eating, sleeping, drinking, etc.).  I have been trying as hard as possible to be self-compassionate, but it is truly one of the most difficult things.  I will keep trying because I know how important it is.  Lastly, I have been reframing situations/emotions already present or planning for future situations.  Instead of staying stuck in a negative mindset of ‘I’m never going to improve’, doing a reframe of that and come up with ways of why that is not true.  For instance, ‘That is not true because every doctor’s appointment my physical health has improved,’ or ‘I grow with each therapy session and improve every week I go.’

Every if I am being tested right now in recovery and doing some extra hard work at the moment, I know that it is worthwhile.  I know the alternative is not an option.  No matter how hard the fight is at times, I know that I can beat whatever the obstacle may be.  I have come so far already and I have the strength and ability to keep going.  Sometimes it may be hard to see and feel, but I do.

Wishing you all well, Recovery Warriors! 🙂